In this study, we explored the differences in infant social behaviors in front of the mirror and in front of a familiar and an unfamiliar peer. We assumed that infant social behaviors in front of the mirror constitute mainly an exploration of the mirror image characteristics. Our observations were videotaped and coded according to definitions of social behavior in infant-infant situations. The results obtained indicate that 6- to 13-month-old infants display significantly more frequent social behaviors in front of a mirror than in front of a familiar or an unfamiliar peer. These behaviors are characterized by tactile contact with the mirror surface, adapting the hand to this surface, and very frequent coordinated social behaviors. This pattern of social behaviors in front of the mirror is discussed and linked to the exploration of distinctive characteristics of the self-reflected image such as perfect synchronicity of movement and two-dimensionality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies